Zero waste challenge participants

Welcome, Zero Waste Challenge participants!

This page will contain helpful information and resources for you on your low-waste journey.

The reporting form for when you are tracking your waste is also below.

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Zero waste guide

Tips and tricks for a low-waste lifestyle

The zero waste guide includes information about many actions you can take to reduce waste.

The guide starts by focusing on getting as much waste our of your trash can through recycling, donation and proper disposal. The guide then digs into preventing waste in the first place. Tips for creating a low-waste and environmentally friendly lifestyle, worksheets for setting goals and conducting waste audits, recipes for making less waste products, and additional resources are also included.

You can either download the entire zero waste guide (PDF) or choose the sections of interest to you below.

Getting started: diverting waste

The first phase of becoming a zero-waste household is to take a look at what you're throwing away and get everything possible out of your trash can. That's why the first section provides details about diverting as much of your waste as possible to recycling, composting, organics recycling, donation and reselling goods, and properly disposing of hazardous wastes.

Reducing waste

The second step is to think about waste you could prevent in the first place, remembering that not creating waste in the first place is better than recycling it. This sections goes room by room, including the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, home office and garage as well as exploring the topics of kids, pets, travel, cleaning, remodeling and hosting gatherings.

Zero-waste lifestyle

The third section includes more advanced tips on creating a low-waste and environmentally friendly lifestyle that go beyond focusing on waste.

Worksheets

Recipes

References and additional resources

Workshops, events and learning opportunities

Workshops and webinars

Households are required to attend at least one workshop or webinar during the Zero Waste Challenge.

Workshops and webinars are led by Hennepin County staff and provide hands-on instructions for taking zero waste actions. They are also an opportunity to get your questions answered and have discussions with other participating households.

The following workshops are currently scheduled. Additional workshop will be offered in the winter and spring 2020.

Zero waste shopping

  • Date: Thursday, November 7, 2019
  • Time: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: TBD

Learn how to modify your shopping habits to create less waste. Join us as we help you plan and make decisions about packaging while walking through a grocery store. 

Backyard composting

Learn how to compost at home! This course will cover the basic science behind composting, how to set up a backyard bin, and troubleshooting issues with your compost pile.

Webinar: Decluttering

  • Date: Saturday, January 11, 2020
  • Time: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Location: online, link will be posted here before the webinar

Learn how to declutter your home and how to prevent clutter from accumulating in the first place. This course will cover handling the emotional and physical burden of clutter with tips and methods you can use in your home.

Webinar: Reducing food waste

  • Date: Monday, February 3, 2020
  • Time: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: online, link will be posted here before the webinar

Learn more about how food is wasted and what we can do about it. This course will cover the basics on when and why food is wasted at home as well as practical tips you can start using today.

Webinar: Zero waste shopping

  • Date: Thursday, February 27, 2020
  • Time: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: online, link will be posted here before the webinar

Learn how to modify your shopping habits to create less waste. This workshop will help you plan ahead, and make decisions about packaging when you are shopping.

Fix-It Clinics

Learn how to troubleshoot and repair your household goods with guided assistance from handy volunteers at an upcoming Fix-It Clinics.

See the schedule of upcoming Fix-It Clinics.

Hazardous waste collection events

Hennepin County holds collections events seasonally between May and October on weekends at locations throughout the county to provide more convenient disposal options.

See the schedule of upcoming hazardous waste collection events.

Educational resources and guiding documents

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Waste reporting form

Use this form to report the waste you are tracking each week.

* = required field

Contact information
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Dates you are reporting waste for

You should report your waste weekly. Submit a new form for every week you are reporting waste weights.

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Trash weight
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Pet waste

Do not include this in your trash weight

Recycling weight
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Organics weight

Enter 0 for any of the management options below that you did not use.

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Plastic bags/film
Items repair, borrowed, or obtained second-hand
Provide the weight of the items in pounds or indicate if they were too heavy to weigh. For example: vacuum cleaner (7.25 pounds); repaired and borrowed books from the library (no weight)
How did you fix or find these items (select all that apply):






Provide the weight of the items in pounds or indicate if they were too heavy to weigh. For example: vacuum cleaner (7.25 pounds); repaired and borrowed books from the library (no weight)
Donated or sold clothing and household items
Provide the weight of the items in pounds or indicate if it was too heavy to weigh. For example, three grocery bags of clothing (46.7 pounds) and a table (unable to weigh).
How did you get rid of these items:



Other items disposed
This could include items such as household hazardous waste, batteries, paint, fluorescent light bulbs, cleaners, pesticides, automotive waste, medicines, sharps.
How did you get rid of these items:



Additional observations
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